Sep 2, 2011

UPAAH Launches Endowment Fund Campaign

Divina Robillard, UPAAH President

By Maita Milallos


The University of the Philippines Alumni Association of Hawaii (UPAAH) is launching a series of fundraisers as part of its Mahalo, UP! Endowment Fund Campaign.”  Inspired by the spirited gifting of alumni and friends during the 2008 UP Centennial Year, the UPAAH board of directors established the fund in 2010 to raise $32,000 by 2012.  The fund aims to help finance the professional and leadership development of the University’s faculty members and promising students.

Divina Robillard, UPAAH President said, “We have decided to raise funds that will be there for UP, not only for the need of the moment, but for all time.  To clearly identify the fund as born in
Hawaii, it was named the UPAAH Mahalo, UP! Endowment Fund Campaign to signify that we, in the 50th state, are big on aloha, generosity, and gratitude.”

The money raised will be held in perpetuity with only the interest to be used by the seven constituent universities of the UP system.  The investment and distribution process is assigned to the University but the UPAAH will address the guidelines for fund use. 


Professor Belinda
Aquino of the University of Hawaii Manoa and currently President of the University of the Philippines Alumni Association in America claimed that the endowment fund is the first collective effort of the UPAAH. 

“Individual members have had contributed funding to UP in many ways.  This endowment fund pools together resources from individuals to provide institutional assistance to the University to maintain its position and prestige as the preeminent institution of learning in the country.” 
She added, “This endeavor hopes to develop the philanthropic spirit among the alumni to give back to the institution that provided them with the skills and the many opportunities that UP gave them.”
 
The campaign is led by
Nieva Garchitorena Elizaga, a 1965 UP Iloilo Home Economics graduate and wife to internist Dr. Fortunato Elizaga.  She is assisted by Rose Nabor Zabanal (BS Business Economics 1979) and Raymund Liongson (PhD in Education 1985).  Among the planned fundraisers include a yard sale on August 21, 2011 in Kailua and a $1,000-a-plate “Brunch of Champions for UP” which will be held in Waialae Country Club on October 2, 2011. Other planned fundraisers include a carwash, $1-a-day program and a coupon sale.

To realize the success of the
Mahalo, UP!” fundraiser activities, Carolyn Weygan-Hildebrand, UPAAH President-Elect appealed to the generosity of the alumni by relating UP to home.  “Philanthropy begins at home and UP is home,” she stressed.   

Norma Domingo, UPAAH Secretary brought home the point of giving back on a more practical level.
“Donating to the Mahalo, UP! Endowment Fund is like paying back for the four-year tuition fees spent in the University without the interest rates.”

Established in 1908, the University of the Philippines is the only national university in the country.  It is the pioneer in higher education through its academic excellence, outstanding research, public service and modernized facilities.  UP
has seven constituent universities housed in 12 campuses offering 246 undergraduate and 362 graduate programs.  The university currently has 50,000 students and has produced the most notables in the political, legal, social and economic landscapes of the country.

There are around 200 UP alumni in Hawaii who come from different generations of graduates, campuses and disciplines.  These alumni are actively engaged as professionals in the public and private sectors in areas such as education, business, health and social services.  Many occupy leadership positions in Filipino community organizations.


For more information about the campaign and the different fundraisers, please check their
blog site: http://www.mahaloup.blogspot.com/ or email Divina Robillard at upaahawaii@yahoo.com.

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